A Song For Whoever: Undertaker & TNA Edition

BOSS LADY RAY: Poor old Undertaker. First he finds himself beaten into a coma, then he finds out the person responsible was his brother, then the rest of the family turn on him, then he gets injured and has to go away for a while. Again. There’s also the whole ‘being dead’ thing. That’s gotta be rough. That’ll put a dampener on anyone’s week. Sure, he married McCool during his break, and a lovely couple they make too, but in the grand scheme of things he’s not having a wonderful time.

Taker goes away to repair whichever sinew he’s snapped this time. There’s this whole special build-up where he walks around a desolate shed out in the desert somewhere.  Johnny Cash husks and mumbles his way through “There ain’t no graaaaave……”. It’s all very Red Dead Redemption. Admittedly, when I realised 2-21-11 was an Undertaker return I was pretty meh about it. As the Sidekick commented, if you need to take six months off between matches, you’ve got some big life decisions to make. Still, they appeared to be making a big deal of his not-so-secret return. By the way, it’s 21-2-11! Silly America.

So it’s 21-2 and Taker starts making his lengthy march to the ring. The Fresno crowd are soaking up every second of the entrance. They’re so into it they can practically taste the damp earth from the grave that couldn’t hold his body down. FIRE! BRIMSTONE! EYELINER! SLOW HAT REMOVAL! EYES ROLLED BACK INTO HEAD! TIME TO PLAY GAME! Wait. What?

Yeah. HHH is back. Most blatant upstaging ever! Regardless of how uncool it is, I am a bit of a Triple H fan. I marked out pretty hard, even though Raw was spoilt for me once again and I knew he was back before watching it. Undertaker must have been well cheesed off though. It was an epic display of thunder stealing if ever I saw one. With this in mind there’s really only one song I can dedicate to the Undertaker. Actually, if wrestling were a musical, this is the song Taker would sing to Trips. And Andrew will vouch for me when I say, it’s a flippin’ miracle we’ve been running this segment for a month and this is the first showtune and/or Streisand track I’ve picked. It really was just a matter of time. Sing along if you know the words……..

SIDEKICK ANDREW: Soooooo…. after a few weeks featuring mysterious monochrome movies featuring a rain lashed hut in the middle of nowhere, an ominous figure in a long leather coat making his way through the rain, and no more information than a simple date to close – the WWE brought back the Undertaker.

Meanwhile, over on TNA, they show a mysterious monochrome movie featuring a rain lashed hut in the middle of nowhere, an ominous figure in a long leather coat making his way through the rain, and no more information than a simple date to close – now confirmed, due to ridiculous advance filming dates, to advertise the return of Sting.

I’m well aware that there’s nothing original in pro-wrestling, and that the industry is often described as “cyclical” for a reason, but there comes a point where “homage” or “parody” becomes “desperate clinging to coat tails”. We don’t cover TNA on this site much at all for one simple reason: it’s too painful to watch. When you have a company that employs a high percentage of great wrestlers as they do, you have to try really hard to make something as unwatchable as Impact! (their exclamation mark, not mine.)

The really silly thing about this is that it doesn’t benefit anyone. It’s not even as though the WWE want TNA to fail. Everyone seems to realise now that competition is a healthy thing, an opinion confirmed by Chris Jericho in a recent interview on The LAW with Dan Lovranski and Jason Agnew when he was asked about the 3 3 11 video:

“It drives me nuts and I’ll tell you the reason why. I am the biggest fan of TNA as a concept. I want them to be huge, Vince wants them to be huge because the more competition there is, it’s better for the business, it’s better for the boys, it’s better is for the fans. I don’t understand their obsession with copying the WWE I think it’s lame, I think its bush league and I don’t get it, they have some of the best talent, some great idea men. Why do they do this? Why do their guys go out there and say ‘When I was in the WWE I was left behind and I was held back’. If I was working for TNA I would project that it’s the greatest wrestling company in the world because if you’re not projecting it, why is anyone going to believe it?”

I’ve just realised this isn’t going to be a very funny episode of Song For Whoever, at least my half. For that I apologise, but TNA could and should be a great, fun to watch promotion. Employing Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan (arguably the 3 men most responsible for WCW’s demise) was a ridiculous idea, and one which will probably help spell the end for them. Or at least it might, were they not bankrolled by daddy’s multi-million dollar company. Still, humour aside, there’s only song that seems fitting…

…and at least nobody can say we don’t give coverage to TNA now.